Jack Black

Jack Black

Birth name: Thomas Jacob Black
Born: August 28, 1969
Age: 53
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, U.S.
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Thomas Jacob Black (born August 28, 1969) is an American actor, comedian and musician. His acting career has been extensive, starring primarily in comedy films. Black is known for his roles in Shallow Hal (2001), School of Rock (2003), King Kong (2005), The Holiday (2006), the Kung Fu Panda franchise (2008-2016), Tropic Thunder (2008), Gulliver's Travels (2010), and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). He has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Black is the lead vocalist of the comedic rock group Tenacious D which he formed in 1994 with friend Kyle Gass. They have released the albums Tenacious D, The Pick of Destiny and Rize of the Fenix.


Early life

Thomas Jacob Black was born in Santa Monica, California, and raised in Hermosa Beach, California, the son of satellite engineers Judith Love (née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and is also a writer, and Thomas William Black. His mother was born Jewish, while his father converted to Judaism. Black was raised in the Jewish faith, attending Hebrew school and celebrating a Bar Mitzvah. On a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name of blacksmith.

Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother's home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982. For high school, Black's parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school designed specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system. Black also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment. Fellow UCLA student, Tim Robbins, later cast Black in Bob Roberts. Black gained recurring roles on the HBO sketch comedy series, Mr. Show.

Acting career

Early roles

In 1982, Black first acted in a television commercial at age 13 for the video game Pitfall!. Black's adult career began with acting on prime time television. He played roles on shows including Life Goes On, Northern Exposure, Mr. Show, Picket Fences, The Golden Palace, and The X-Files. Black appeared in the unaired TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.

Black later took on small roles in Airborne (1993), Demolition Man, Waterworld, The Fan, The Cable Guy, Mars Attacks!, Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, The Jackal, Enemy of the State, and others. He had a small role in True Romance as a security guard, but the scene was deleted.

Leading roles

In 2000, Black appeared in the movie High Fidelity as a wild employee in John Cusack's record store, a role he considers his breakout. He soon gained leading roles in films such as Shallow Hal, Nacho Libre, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Year One, and Gulliver's Travels. He received particular praise for his starring role in the well-received School of Rock, earning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor - Musical or Comedy.

He starred in one of his few dramatic roles as the obsessed filmmaker Carl Denham in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong, a performance he based on Orson Welles. He voiced the title role in Kung Fu Panda, which grossed US$20.3 million on its opening day, June 6, 2008, as well as Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3; this is his favorite role and he praises the tutoring of co-star and two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. His next film, The Big Year, a competitive birdwatching comedy co-starring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, and JoBeth Williams, was released in October 2011.

Jack garnered a second Golden Globe Award nomination, this time in the category Best Actor in a Comedy, for his 2011 starring role in Richard Linklater's black comedy, Bernie, as real-life murderer Bernie Tiede, a funeral director in a small East Texas town, who befriends and eventually murders a rich widow, played by Shirley MacLaine. Black's subdued portrayal, authentic East Texas accent, and musical talent - he sings several gospel hymns as well as "Seventy-six Trombones" - had Roger Ebert describing Black's work as "one of the performances of the year."

Later television roles

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Black guest-starred on The Office along with Cloris Leachman, and Jessica Alba in a movie within the show. He also guest-starred in iCarly, in the episode "iStart a Fan War".

Black has appeared numerous times on the "untelevised TV network" short film festival Channel 101, created by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, starring in the shows Computerman, Timebelt, and Laserfart. He also provided an introduction for the unaired sketch comedy Awesometown, donning a Colonial-era military uniform. In the introduction, he claims to be George Washington and takes credit for the accomplishments of other American Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Black also guest starred in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor, as a bear-trap store owner. Black also guest-starred on Dan Harmon's show Community.

Hosting work and appearances

Black took part in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity edition along with Denis Leary, Jimmy Kimmel, and others and was handed the prize of US$125,000 in October 2001. On December 14, he hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. Black has hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards and Acceptable.TV. He presented the tribute to rock legends Led Zeppelin when the band were named as 2012 recipients of Kennedy Center Honors. In 2016, Black joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as one of its celebrity correspondents.

Voice acting

In addition to Kung Fu Panda, Black has voice acted on other occasions, including "Husbands and Knives" from The Simpsons which aired November 18, 2007, portraying Milo, the friendly owner of the rival comic book store. He provided the voice of the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the heavy metal-themed action-adventure video game Brütal Legend. In 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards, he earned the Best Voice award for the voice of Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend. In April 2009, Black starred in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!, in which he vocalized funny kid songs, such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost", "Friends", and "The Goodbye Song".

Black voiced Darth Vader in Bad Lip Reading's parodies of the Star Wars original trilogy on YouTube. In 2015, Black not only played a fictional version of real-life author R. L. Stine for Goosebumps, but he also provided the voices of two R.L. Stine's creations, Slappy the Dummy and The Invisible Boy.

Music career

Main article: Tenacious D
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Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the comedy rock/hard rock band Tenacious D. Along with Kyle Gass, they have released three albums, a self-titled debut, the follow-up, The Pick of Destiny, and Rize of the Fenix. One of their songs from their album The Pick of Destiny, titled "The Metal", was used in the music video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Brütal Legend. "Rock Your Socks" from the album Tenacious D was played in the music video game Rock Band Unplugged as well, and "Master Exploder" from The Pick Of Destiny went on to be used in music video games Guitar Hero Van Halen, Rock Band 2, and Brütal Legend along with their song "Tribute" from Tenacious D. "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the comedic film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.

The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, featured recurring characters from Black's comedy such as Lee the super-fan and the Sasquatch. Several celebrities had roles in the film; actor Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at a Guitar Center, also having a role in the music video for "Tribute".

Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to raise awareness of these diseases and funds for the organization in Los Angeles on December 20, 2001, and in San Diego, California on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the 90s-era Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo is performing its song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical", alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.

In 2000, Jack Black (along with Kyle Gass) provided backing vocals to punk rock band The Vandals' song "Fourteen", which appears on their album Look What I Almost Stepped In.... Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock", and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song "Burn the Witch" with rhythmic stomps and claps, some performed with his eyes closed. He also provided vocals for two tracks on the 2006 album Death by Sexy by Eagles of Death Metal and on The Lonely Island's track "Sax Man" from the album Incredibad.

Black also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf's album Hang Cool Teddy Bear, on the song "Like a Rose". Meat Loaf also played Black's father in the Pick of Destiny movie.

Black has appeared in music videos of Beck "Sexx Laws"; Foo Fighters "Learn To Fly", "Low", and "The One"; The Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"; Sum 41's "Things I Want"; Dio's "Push"; Weezer's "Photograph"; The Mooney Suzuki's "In a Young Man's Mind"; and "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Tacky." In October 2010, Tenacious D appeared at BlizzCon 2010, a convention hosted by the game designers, Blizzard Entertainment. In 2012, Jack Black joined up with other celebrities to record "Book People Unite", a song sponsored by the Library of Congress, and RIF.

Black did guest vocals and appears on the Dethklok soundtrack album The Doomstar Requiem. He sings the parts for Dethklok's original band manager as well as a blogger.

Black, as a member of Tenacious D, won the award for Best Metal Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards. The award was won for the song "The Last in Line", a cover of the song of the same name by Dio that appeared on the tribute album This Is Your Life.

Personal life

As a young man, Black participated as a Cub Scout. At the age of 14, Black struggled with drugs, saying "I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine... I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school (because) one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there."

His 31-year-old brother, Howard, died of AIDS in 1989.

In January 2006, Black became engaged to Tanya Haden, daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Both attended Crossroads School and met again 15 years after graduating, at a friend's birthday party. They married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California.

Black's first son, Samuel Jason "Sammy" Black, was born on June 10, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. On May 23, 2008, Black and his wife had their second son, Thomas David Black.

Black described himself as an atheist; but now that he is a father, he has decided to raise his children in the Jewish faith and has also started going to a synagogue with them.

Black endorsed Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.

In 2015, Black visited Kampala in Uganda, Africa as part of Comic Relief USA's Red Nose Day.



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Bob Roberts Roger Davis
1993 Airborne Augie
Demolition Man Wasteland Scrap
1994 The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia Slip
1995 Bye Bye Love DJ at party
Dead Man Walking Craig Poncelet
Waterworld Pilot
1996 Bio-Dome Himself with his band Tenacious D
The Cable Guy Rick Legatos
The Fan Broadcast technician
Mars Attacks! Billy Glenn Norris
1997 Bongwater Devlin
Crossworlds Steve
The Jackal Ian Lamont
1998 Enemy of the State Fiedler
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Titus Telesco Uncredited
Johnny Skidmarks Jerry
1999 Cradle Will Rock Sid
Jesus' Son Georgie
The Love Letter Fisherman Uncredited
2000 High Fidelity Barry Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance
Nominated - American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Music Moment
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2001 Frank's Book Performance hipster Short film
Saving Silverman JD McNugent
Shallow Hal Hal Larson Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor - Comedy
2002 Orange County Lance Brumder
Run Ronnie Run! Lead chimney sweep DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song
Ice Age Zeke Voice role
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Mental patient Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated - DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actor
School of Rock Dewey Finn MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team
Nominated - New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor - Comedy
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liar
2004 Envy Nick Vanderpark Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Funny Male Star
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Motorcyclist Cameo
Shark Tale Lenny Voice role
2005 King Kong Carl Denham Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
2006 Nacho Libre Ignacio / Nacho Also producer
Nominated - Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Male Movie Star
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Comedy
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Rumble
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Himself Also producer and writer;
Fictionalized account of the band's history
The Holiday Miles
2007 Margot at the Wedding Malcolm Nominated - Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Paul McCartney Uncredited cameo
2008 Be Kind Rewind Jerry Gerber
Kung Fu Panda Po / The Dragon Warrior Voice role;
Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
Kung Fu Panda: The Secrets of the Furious Five Short film;
Voice role
Prop 8: The Musical Jesus Christ Short film
Tropic Thunder Jeff "Fats" Portnoy Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
2009 Year One Zed
2010 Kung Fu Panda Holiday Po / The Dragon Warrior Short film;
Voice role
Gulliver's Travels Lemuel Gulliver Also executive producer
Nominated - Razzie Award for Worst Actor
Nominated - Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Male Movie Star
2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 Po / The Dragon Warrior Voice role;
Nominated - Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Voice
Nominated - Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Animation Movie Voice
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters Short film;
Voice role
Bernie Bernie Tiede Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated - Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Performance
Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated - New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (runner-up)
Nominated - Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actor in a Comedy
The Big Year Brad Harris
The Muppets Himself Uncredited
2014 Sex Tape Owner of YouPorn Uncredited
2015 The D Train Dan Landsman Also producer
Goosebumps R. L. Stine
Slappy (voice)
Invisible Boy (voice)
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie Actor
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 Po / The Dragon Warrior Voice role
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll Short film;
Voice role
2017 The Polka King Jan Lewan Also producer
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Professor Shelly Oberon
2018 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Dexter
Unexpected Race Sheriff Post-production
The House with a Clock in Its Walls Jonathan Barnavelt Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Our Shining Moment Teenage boy Television pilot
1993 The Golden Palace Taxi driver Episode: "Seems Like Old Times: Part 2"
1993 Life Goes On Skinhead Episode: "Incident on Main"
1993 Northern Exposure Kevin Wilkins Episode: "A River Doesn't Run Through It"
1993 Marked for Murder Car thief Television film
1994 Blind Justice Private Television film
1994 The Innocent Marty Prago Television film
1995 All-American Girl Tommy Episode "A Night at the Oprah"
1995 Pride & Joy Man Episode: "Brenda's Secret"
1995 The Single Guy Randy Episode: "Sister"
1995 Touched by an Angel Monte Episode: "Angels on the Air"
1995 The X-Files Bart "Zero" Liquori Episode: "D.P.O."
1995-1996 Mr. Show with Bob and David Various characters 4 episodes
1995-1996 Picket Fences Curtis Williams 2 episodes
1997-2000 Tenacious D JB 6 episodes; also co-creator, writer and producer
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Jack Pilot
2002 2002 MTV Movie Awards Himself (host) Television special
2002 The Andy Dick Show J.D. Episode: "Flipped"
2002 Clone High Pusher/Larry Hardcore (voices) Episode: "Raisin the Stakes"
2002 Crank Yankers Tenacious D Episode: "#1.3"
2002 MADtv Tenacious D Episode: "#7.22"
2003 Player$ Tenacious D Episode: "Tenacious D a la Mode"
2003 Will & Grace Dr. Isaac Hershberg Episode: "Nice in White Satin"
2003-2004 Computerman Computerman 6 episodes; Also executive producer
2003-2004 Time Belt Computerman 2 episodes
2004 Cracking Up Brian Episode: "Scared Straight"
2004 Tom Goes to the Mayor Trapper JB (voice) Episode: "Bear Traps"
2006 Kids' Choice Awards Himself (host) Television special
2006 MTV Video Music Awards Himself (host) Television special
2007 Acceptable.TV Executive producer
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Jables Episode: "Break-Up"
2007 The Simpsons Milo (voice) Episode: "Husbands and Knives"
2008 Sesame Street Himself Episode: "The Golden Triangle of Destiny"
2008 Kids' Choice Awards Himself (host) Television special
2008 Spike Video Game Awards Himself (Host) Television special
2009 The Office Sam Episode: "Stress Relief"
2009 Yo Gabba Gabba! Himself Episode: "New Friends"
2010 Community Buddy Episode: "Investigative Journalism"
2010 iCarly Aspartamay Episode: "iStart a Fanwar"
2011 Kids' Choice Awards Himself (host) Television special
2012-2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself 2 episodes
2013-2015 Drunk History Elvis Presley / Orson Welles / Benjamin Franklin / William Mulholland 4 episodes
2013 Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem Dethklok's original manager / Fat Blogger (voices) Television special
2015 Workaholics Pritchard DeMamp Episode: "Gramps DeMamp is Dead"
2015 The Brink Alex Talbot 10 episodes; also producer
2015 Documentary Now! Jamison Friend Episode: "Dronez: The Hunt for El Chingon"
2016 Panda Republic Narrator (voice) Documentary
2017 Great Minds with Dan Harmon Ludwig van Beethoven Episode: "Ludwig van Beethoven"
2017 The Last Man on Earth Rear Admiral Roy Billups Episode: "M.U.B.A.R."

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Peter Jackson's King Kong Carl Denham (voice) Spike Video Game Award for Best Performance by a Male
2009 Brütal Legend Eddie Riggs (voice) Spike Video Game Award for Best Voice
2014 Broken Age Harm'ny Lightbeard (voice)
2015 Goosebumps: Night of Scares R.L. Stine and Slappy the Dummy (voice)

Jack Black supports the following charitable causes: Veterans, Cancer, AIDS, Peace, Children, Marijuana Legalization.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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